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Under the Dome - Episode 1.08 Thicker Than Water - Review: The Monarch

In the eighth episode “Thicker Than Water” of Under the Dome, the townspeople of Chester's Mill finally deal with the possibility that the dome might be there permanently. We also learn the truth about Junior's mother and delve a little deeper into the dome's mythology.

TEENAGE ANGST. Alice's death put a dent between my favorite duo Norrie & Joe with the former blaming the latter for her mother's death. She even went as far as to say it is Alice's own fault. After bonding with Angie, she finally allowed herself to mourn over her mother. Since the story duration is tremendously shorter compared to other shows, it'll take a while until Norrie copes with her mother's death but I do hope we'll get to see Joe & Norrie trying to unravel the dome's mysteries in the upcoming episodes again. It is easily one of the more interesting storylines of the show.

HOW WAS YOUR DAY, HONEY? Speaking of story duration, the romance between Julia and Barbie moves a little too fast for me. They have been together for what..? A week? And yet they seem like an married couple when Julia calls him honey while he is getting ready for bed. It was probably meant as a joke but it doesn't change the fact that this couple is moving oddly fast. I guess they want to show us as much lovey dovey romance before Barbie's dark little secret comes out. With the show returning for a second season, I have feeling we won't get to see that until next summer.

THE MONARCH. Meanwhile, Joe shows Julia the mini-dome and the egg which has started to glow in a bright pink instead of being pitch black. Upon contact, a second Joe appears and utters the words: “The monarch will be crowned.” We've already seen a whole swarm of monarch butterflies back in 1.05 “Blue on Blue” at the dome and we saw another one when Barbie was digging Alice's death, then there is the shot of Angie's butterfly tattoo. They are foreshadowing something big for her but will she be "The Monarch"? Are butterflies merely used as a symbol or will actual butterflies be of importance in the bigger picture? It's interesting that the dome has chosen another teenager as a key player.

EVIL JIM VS OLLIE. After Evil Jim and Ollie fail to agree on a diplomatic solution, the fight over the well ends with a gun fight between Jim's and Ollie's forces. Barbie disapproves of the violent approach and blows up the well to redirect the water into a reservoir, resulting in both sides retreating as the very thing they are fighting over has been destroyed. Obviously, Evil Jim is very upset about that. He might have told everybody that he is doing it for the town but another reason why he was fighting so hard for the well is because controlling it means he would have regained some of the authority he has lost since the dome came down. It's funny that Evil Jim calls Ollie power-hungry when the motivation behind a lot of his actions so far was to keep his reputation in tact. And yet, despite all of this he has always done what's best for the town. Ollie might be a goner but Barbie blowing up the well created some friction between him and Evil Jim. It'll be interesting to see how this rivalry will play out. Both of them want to keep Chester's Mill safe & up and running but they also have very different conceptions of how to achieve that.

SHE CHOSE TO LEAVE US. The scene in which Junior confronts Evil Jim about the way his mother died is extremely well acted by Dean Norris (he can act circles around every single one of his co-stars) but it still fell short for me, mainly because of the lack of build up to this scene. Don't get me wrong, it was an excellent scene but just not as excellent as it could have been, had there been the proper build-up.

What I also find worth mentioning is the fact that at least one person died in each episode so far. With five people and Ollie dying in this one, the total death count rises to 16. I wonder if this will be significant later on. Maybe the egg hatches when a certain amount of people bite the dust.

Overall, "Thicker Than Water" was a solid - if not the best - episode so far. The early episodes were rather underwhelming as it felt like I was watching a procedural with a disaster of the week but things have been more serialized and it seems the show is becoming what people expected it to be.

What do you think? What's next for Evil Jim and the rest of the town? What's in the mysterious egg? What exactly are the Dome's plans for Angie and is it just me or was there something strange about the way she looked at Joe and Norrie at the end? Sound off in the comments below!

Rating: 4/5

Watch the promo for the next episode “The Fourth Hand” here!

Mark Ondo/LittleDreamer
19 y/o austrian high school graduate who is in the midst of figuring life out. Writer for SpoilerTV. Loves watching TV, cheesecake, meditation & music. For feedback/questions, write me on facebook or mail me.

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